246. Peg and the Whale by Kenneth Oppel

Peg and the Whale by Kenneth Oppel. Illustrated by Terry Widener (US) - (Canada)  OUT OF PRINT
Peg (#2)

Pages: 32
Ages: 4+
Finished: Sep. 8, 2012
First Published: 2000
Publisher: Harper Collins Canada
Genre: picture book, tall tale, Canadian author
                                                      Rating: 4/5

First sentence: "Peg was born upon the bright blue sea."

Publisher's Summary:  "Peg was born upon the bright blue sea.

A big, strapping lass, she isn't one to do things in half measures. Anything she turns her hand to, she's good at. But she wants more than that. She wants big, she wants better, she wants best. She wants to be the world's best fisherman....

Now that Peg's pushing seven, she figures it's high time she caught herself a whale. So she packs up her fishing rod and signs on with the whaling ship Viper. Peg is ready to catch a whale. But is the whale ready for Peg?

In this humorous nautical tall tale, Kenneth Oppel and Terry Widener have created a feisty, independent child hero for the ages."

Acquired:  Borrowed a copy from my local library.

Reason for Reading:  I am reading all of the author's books.

I am glad that I read the second book first as I enjoyed that one much better than this, though I've given them both 4 stars.  Rating picture books is difficult as I have to remember they are for kids and not adult me.  This book is just as appealing to kids.  Oppel has written a fun, original, tall tale about an independent little girl who wants to catch herself a whale.  An enormously over-the-top adventure as she takes off on her own, joins a whaling ship, catches a whale with a fishing rod, gets taken for a ride, makes a home for herself inside his stomach and voyages up to the arctic.  After fashioning a rudder to steer the whale Peg manages to make it back to her parents' fishing boat and the book ends with her ready to do something even bigger and better.  The picture shows her in the mountains with Mt. Everest in the horizon and this is where she'll meet the Yeti in book 2.  What I didn't like in this one is that Peg doesn't connect with the whale like she does with the Yeti, the whale is not tamed and doesn't become her "friend".  I was also spoiled by Barbara Reid's illustrations in Yeti and was underwhelmed to see the different illustrator here.  The illustrations are bright and bold, pleasant but no Barbara Reid.


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